New STAAR Alternate 2 Participation Requirements Take Effect May 1, 2018!

In a TETN presentation on April 25, 2018, new STAAR Alternate 2 participation requirements for the 2019 administration were announced.  The newly revised Participation Requirements take effect May 1, 2018.  They include changes to the number of requirements (there are now five instead of four), and clarifying language that defines a significant cognitive disability. The participation requirements state that a determination of significant cognitive disability is made by the ARD committee and based on an evaluation performed by a qualified evaluation team.  The disability must significantly impact the student’s intellectual potential AND adaptive behavior and be documented in the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

Clarifying language and examples have been added to paint a more complete picture of what “specialized, extensive supports” and “intensive, individualized instruction” may look like for a student with a significant cognitive disability when accessing the grade-level curriculum and setting.  Additionally, the language of the previous participation requirement which states that students taking the STAAR Alternate 2 must access and participate in the grade-level TEKS through prerequisite skills has been expanded to include descriptions of how a student with a significant cognitive disability is most likely to access those prerequisite skills during instruction.  The participation requirement now states that a student with a significant cognitive disability accessing the TEKS through prerequisite skills that are “significantly below grade level instruction” requires “a highly specialized educational program with intensive supports and modifications to the curriculum.”

The newly added, fifth participation requirement has been pulled from the previous assurances section to emphasize that the STAAR Alternate 2 assessment determination must be based on the student’s significant cognitive disability and not on any other factors such as racial or economic background, excessive absences, location of service delivery, English learner status or anticipated difficulties with student behavior.

Beginning on May 1, 2018, admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committees will use the new STAAR Alternate 2 participation requirements for determining assessment decisions for the 2018-19 school year.  ARD committees that used the previous participation requirements for the 2018-19 assessment decisions prior to May 1st, 2018 may move forward with assessment decisions they have already made.  However, TEA recommends that campus personnel review the new participation requirements and determine if revisions should be made to previous assessment decisions.

The review and revision of the participation requirements is part of TEA’s response to state assessment requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Any state assessing more than 1% of students with an alternate assessment aligned with alternate academic achievement standards is required to submit an annual waiver application.  The Texas plan and waiver for this year was approved.  While the 1 percent rate is a statewide requirement, LEAs above the rate may expect additional oversight and support from TEA’s Student Assessment Division.

Visit TEA’s website or click on the following link to view the new 2018-19 STAAR Alternate 2 Participation Requirements.

For more information, please contact TEA’s Student Assessment Division at assessment.specialpopulations@tea.texas.gov  or ESC Region 13 Education Specialist, Jennifer Russell, at jennifer.russell@esc13.txed.net

UDL Series: Universal Design for Learning and Teacher Appraisal Systems

In this blog series we’ve shared information about how UDL provides a framework for focusing instruction on learner variability, ways that planning with UDL can optimize student learning, and where UDL is mentioned in federal laws and plans. But what about teacher appraisal; how do the UDL guidelines connect to T-TESS?

This short video uses a side by side illustration that shows where UDL and T-TESS connect to help create a more student-centered environment. Showing the UDL guidelines matched with T-TESS in this manner helps demonstrate that the implementation of UDL can result in improved practice and performance.  

Reflect: How can applying a UDL lens to the T-TESS rubric support you in your efforts to move from teacher-centered actions to student-centered actions?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement. This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!

UDL Blog Series:

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net.

Teachers Teach Teachers: Beat the Heat 2018 Call for Presentations

Beat the Heat 2018 is coming soon!  This summer conference is dedicated to providing professional development to educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant intellectual and low incidence disabilities. We are seeking teachers, para-educators, and support staff (SLP, OT, PT, AT, VI, COMS, APE, RN, etc) who are interested in teaching others about the terrific strategies, tools, and plans they use in their classroom! 

Submit your proposal to become a Beat the Heat local presenter and, if selected, earn free registration to the conference! This is a terrific opportunity to share your hard-earned professional expertise with your colleagues while developing new professional skills. Presenters of accepted proposals will have the option to complete a self-paced, online course specifically designed to support local Region 13 presenters in developing and delivering professional trainings. Those who complete this course will receive a certificate of endorsement as a presenter to ESC 13. Develop yourself by developing others and build out your résumé with this great opportunity!

We are seeking engaging sessions in the following areas of special education:

  • Behavior
  • Collaboration & Leadership
  • Communication
  • Curriculum & Instruction
  • Early Childhood/PPCD
  • Sensorimotor
  • Transition

Your work matters! Please consider providing a breakout presentation for this year’s Beat the Heat conference. Even better, grab a co-worker and both of you submit a proposal! 

Questions?

Nichole Kertis Barton – nichole.kertis@esc13.txed.net

Register + Save the Date for “Beat the Heat 2018”- Your Wintry Reminder!

Graphic for Beat the Conference

Beat the Heat 2018
June 21 & 22, 2018

ESC Region 13  

Workshop # SU1836780

*Register now for this exceptional learning opportunity designed for educators, parents, and others who work with children ages 3-21 with significant disabilities.

Thursday ♦ June 21, 2018 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

Full day, in-depth workshops on topics including: challenging behavior, communication/AAC, individualized instruction, transition and more!

Friday ♦ June 22, 2018 ♦ 9 am – 4 pm

  • Keynote = what topics/who would you like to have keynote this year?  Click here to submit your idea!
  • 90 minute breakout sessions presented by the best and brightest from Region 13 and around the state

Here’s why you should attend!

  • Attend one of the largest conferences in the state focusing on students with significant disabilities
  • Learn first-hand from experts in the field
  • Improve outcomes for your students by learning new strategies and tools from other classroom professionals
  • Network with your colleagues
  • Lunch provided each day

Bonus for ESC Region 13 Parents and Paraeducators!

Receive a discount code to attend Beat the Heat for $10 by contacting Maria Daniel (maria.daniel@esc13.txed.net).

*Congrats to 2017’s QR Code Scavenger Hunt Winners who won free registration to this year’s conference!!

  • Courtney McBride – Leander ISD
  • Jennifer Blair – Llano ISD
  • Isabel Bahena – Giddings ISD
  • Rosa Reese – Manor ISD
  • Abbey Smith – Pflugerville ISD

Got Skills?  We’d love you to present!  Stay tuned for our Call for Presenters

UDL Series: Meeting the Needs of All Students

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) offers all students a variety of ways to engage with the content. Today’s students enter classrooms with a wide range of skills, needs, and interests. At the same time, much of the curriculum available to teachers is narrowly focused, making it hard to meet the diverse needs of these students. Using the UDL framework can help you overcome curriculum barriers by focusing instruction on systematic learner variability rather than the mythical average student. Systematic learner variability is predictable, which means you can plan for it. Curriculum created using UDL is designed from the beginning to be flexible and customized, allowing teachers to meet students where they are.

Watch a video about how UDL classrooms are like an orchestra.

Learn from Todd Rose about the research behind learner variability.

Download Examples of addressing learner variability using the UDL Guidelines.

Reflect on why it’s important to know about learner variability. How do you or your teachers address learner variability in the classroom?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak, our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!


Registration now available for the workshop: UDL Now! A Guide to Classroom Application with Author Katie Novak

Participants can choose to attend face-to-face workshop or online workshop.

Register now for face-to-face workshop

Register now for online workshop


UDL Blog Series:

  • What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?
  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • UDL and the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • UDL and Teacher Appraisal Systems
  • Lesson Planning with UDL
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Producing Expert Learners
  • UDL and Technology
  • UDL Resources

For more information, contact Kim West, kim.west@esc13.txed.net.

UDL Series: What do you know about Universal Design for Learning?

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for creating an approach to your instruction based on principles that allow all students to have access to the general education curriculum. Using a proactive approach to remove learning barriers by considering the natural variability of how students learn, UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials and assessments to help optimize learning.

In summary,

Watch UDL at a Glance and …

… reflect on your teaching or leadership practices.  How are students engaged? How are materials presented? How do students show what they know?

Join us monthly through July as we discuss the following topics and how the UDL framework can help you close the gap in student achievement! This blog series will culminate with a workshop by Katie Novak , our UDL Distinguished Speaker, on July 27th, 2018!

Click to register now for the face-to-face workshop
Click to register now for the online workshop

UDL Blog Series:

  • Meeting the Needs of All Students
  • Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
  • UDL and Teacher Appraisal Systems
  • Lesson Planning with UDL
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Producing Expert Learners
  • UDL and Technology
  • UDL Resources

For more information, contact Kim West kim.west@esc13.txed.net

 

2018 STAAR Accommodation Updates

TEA has shared updated information on 2018 statewide assessment accommodation policies.

New for 2018:

Accessibility Features:

  • A sticky notes tool was added to the online system.
  • The use of amplification and projection devices was changed from designated supports to accessibility features.

Designated Supports:

  • Content and language supports were combined into one embedded support.
  • A spell check feature was added as an online embedded support for eligible students.
  • Photocopy is no longer an individual support, but has been included within the Large Print and Other policy documents.
  • Authority for decision for math manipulatives and supplemental aids has been expanded to include additional campus level teams (e.g., RTI team, student assistance team).

Policy:

  • Dictionaries for reading and writing in grades 3-5 are no longer a designated support. They are now part of the STAAR Dictionary Policy.
  • The STAAR Calculator Policy now includes the use of calculators for grade 8 science.
  • For students who take the braille test and require an extra day, refer to the “General Instructions for Administering Braille State Assessments.” TEA approval is not required.
  • For grades 2–12 TELPAS writing, an Accommodation Request Form does not need to be submitted for a student that meets the eligibility criteria for Complex Transcribing.

Other:

  • The “GA” accommodation bubble on answer documents was changed to “DS.”
  • The STAAR practice now includes 2017 released tests.
  • The STAAR Accessibility Team at TEA’s Student Assessment Division has a new email, specialpopulations@tea.texas.gov.

Visit the TEA Accommodation Resources webpage for updated policy documents and training materials.

To learn more about these updates, please join us on Thursday, September 21st from 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM. To reserve your spot in the live chat visit the Accommodation Central Community webpage.

For additional information contact kim.west@esc13.txed.net.

 

 

 

Collaborative Teaching with Technology – July 28- Have You Registered?

Where do your comfort and skill levels fall with regards to effectively using technology to enhance your productivity and/or student outcomes?  Here’s a call to action- Join us July 28 for Collaborative Teaching with Technology!  

What? Learn how to enhance instruction and improve student outcomes by meaningfully integrating technology into your collaborative classroom.

Who? This workshop is designed to address the needs of a variety of collaborative instructional arrangements, whether providing co-teaching, inclusion support, or classroom consultation. This workshop is designed for YOU:

  • Edtech
  • Co-teachers
  • Inclusion support
  • Assistive technology
  • ESL support
  • GT
  • Total tech novice
  • I feel pretty confident in my tech skills
  • I don’t have access to technology in my classroom
  • I only have my teacher computer and 1 iPad/Chromebook

How? Through guided practice, you will use a variety of simple yet powerful technology tools for planning, data collection, formative assessment, differentiated instruction, and instructional accommodations.

You will also have a chance to explore additional self-selected technology tools relevant to your particular instructional arrangement and student needs.

Why, again? Having participated in examples of meaningful technology integration across varied classroom activities and practiced using the tech tools, you will be able to hit the ground running with engaging strategies for students and strategies for your own productivity and organization.

Where? Region 13

This workshop is a joint effort between Region 13 Specialists including Leslie Barrett (edtech/librarian), Kim West (special educator), Chris Teter (special educator/administrator) and Nichole Kertis Barton (AT/OT).  We’re excited to bring our different perspectives as well as be able to differentiate support based on your needs!  Please let us know if you have any questions.

For more details login to Ecampus and use workshop code SU1736528

Diane Sheline: Beat the Heat 2017 Feature Presenter

Diane ShelineOn Beat the Heat Day 1, Diane Sheline will be presenting her workshop: Strategy to See: Strategies for Students with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment. This full day session will provide a thorough overview of Cortical Visual Impairment. Diane will review CVI and the brain to include causes of CVI and visual functioning. She will explain the CVI Range- the ten behavioral characteristics of CVI. She will show the impact of CVI on orientation of a child to their environment.  Also, she will share early literacy strategies, demonstrate CVI-friendly materials and review useful apps and resources. She will tailor this information to teachers of students with multiple disabilities. Come learn some new tips and tricks and see her amazing materials!

You might want to check out her recent blog posting on the Paths to Literacy “An Overview of Literacy for Children with CVI.”  In this post, she presents information on some of the implications of the CVI Range for literacy and more.

Diane Sheline, TVI and author of Strategies to See, has worked in the field of education for over 30 years, however, her focus for the past 14 years has been on identification, evaluation and program planning for students with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment.  Determining child specific strategies which encourage more efficient and consistent use of vision is an area that she is especially passionate about and this is reflected at her website www.strategytosee.com.   She currently provides independent consultation for local school districts and private evaluations for students of all ages with CVI, in addition to conducting teacher trainings and parent seminars on CVI throughout the US.  She has especially enjoyed working closely with TSBVI on projects such as a yearly CVI Clinic and creating videos of CVI-friendly strategies and interventions (as part of their CVI Web Exercise).  She is a regular contributor the the Paths to Literacy Blog sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind. She currently resides in the greater Houston area.

We are eagerly waiting to welcome Diane to ESC Region 13!

To see Diane or any of our other excellent Day 1 presenters, register for Beat the Heat 2017, Workshop ID SU1734208.

""Beat the Heat 2017
June 21-22, 2017
ESC Region 13
5701 Springdale Rd.
Austin, TX 78723

Beat the Heat 2017 Full-Day Speakers

""

Take your learning to the next level with these full-day sessions for Beat the Heat Day 1, June 21st!

Setting Up Classrooms for Students with Autism Like a Ninja – Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Teaching Grade Level Standards Across the Curriculum – Cindy R. Miller, MS

Building Sustainable Adult Schedules: The Life Plan with a Focus on Diversity – Dr. Vickie Mitchell 

Strategy to See: Strategies for Students with Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment – Diane Sheline, TVI

Managing Challenging Behaviors – Joanna Ryan, MEd, BCBA

Incorporating Core Vocabulary to Promote Academic Progress: Getting to the Core of Core Vocabulary – Shannon Paige, MA, CCC-SLP

PE and Motor Activities for Students with Severe Disabilities – Randy Foederer, CAPE & Vicki Mason-Foederer, CAPE

Read about their informative sessions.

Summer is coming! Temperatures are rising!  Registration is filling up!
Join us for cool, summer learning!
Beat the Heat 2017—Register now!